Team Bondi's L.A. Noire is rather massive, it seems. Publisher Rockstar Games confirmed today that the open-world detective game spans three discs on the Xbox 360 and fills a single PS3 Blu-ray disc completely.

What's eating up all that disc space? Rockstar's Jeronimo Barrera told Kotaku that the size and detail of the open world, as well as the sheer number of cases you investigate, contributed to the bulk. Another big factor was the MotionScan facial expression data for 400 actors in the game.

The concern with disc swapping is that it brings gameplay to a screeching halt. For example, playing Baldur's Gate on seven (?) CD-ROMs was just awful. You had to change discs to go from one town to the next, and then again if you forgot something and wanted to backtrack. Barrera insists that the disc swapping with Noire will be seamless, though.

"Since the game is built around the concept of progressing through individual cases from desk to desk, players on Xbox will find disc-swapping is hassle-free," said Barrera. "In fact, players will only need to swap discs twice at natural breaks between cases without interrupting the flow of the game."

Rockstar's recent open-world outings - Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption - both fit on one disc. Is Noire that much bigger than both of them? We'll find out when the game's released later this month.

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